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Parents' Guide to

Need for Speed Payback

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Decent yet flawed illegal street racer grinds its gears.

Need for Speed Payback Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 2+


Whoever designed the controls on this game please redo them to the original where R1 and L1 Or R2 AND L2 are the gear shifts I don't expect a lot of people to get this because there may not be too many people that use the manual but I do it's what makes a good racing game for me this is the only reason this game is getting 2* rating from me this is a very good game plays very nice and very predictable control of cars please fix this with an update or allow us to make a custom lay out
age 8+

This game is the best

You can let your kids play this game but not for too long.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (22 ):

Though it's a noticeable improvement over the previous model, this illegal street racing game is neither the best seen from the series, nor this year's best driving game. In Need for Speed Payback, you play as a former street racer trying to rebuild your reputation -- and your friendships with your former crew. Which is really just an excuse to do a ton of illegal street races, off-road contests, and cool movie-style stunts. Just be careful, as the whole "illegal" thing might draw the attention of the local police, who you'll then have to knock out of the way or just outrun.

The thing is, while the racing is solid, and the stunt work is unique and challenging -- thanks to the game's solid controls and twisty tracks -- the boring characters and their clichéd dialogue makes the story stuff rather tiresome. This is reinforced when they start yapping away in the middle of a race. Also, since the game seems to be set on a holiday Sunday when everyone's out of town, the roads are rather empty, thus eliminating the fun and challenge of having to weave in and out of traffic. Competing in races can also turn into a grind, as they quickly become a matter of completing a number of races just to get the right parts to advance the story. All of which makes this game feel like it's trying to be Forza Horizon 3 but isn't even up to the first one of those games. Still, if you've enjoyed previous installments of this racing series, you'll have a thrilling ride with Need for Speed Payback.

Game Details

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